A half-hour television series produced by students in Conestoga’s TV & Independent Production program has been awarded first place in the Series Production category from the Canadian Media Educators association. Conestoga students also received first place and the honourable mention in the Promo/Trailer category.
Conestoga Connected was ranked by judges above all other student productions from colleges and universities across the country.
"Completing your studies and compiling a winning entry in the midst of a global pandemic is truly an amazing feat of creativity and perseverance," said Canadian Media Educators’ president Alana Gieck in her email to the show co-editor, Josely Hidalgo Lopez.
The local lifestyle show, Conestoga Connected, is produced as part of the Series Development and Production course, taught under the direction of professor Rachelle Cooper. This year, the crew had to pivot from compiling the show live in studio to producing it entirely remotely.
Students used Zoom meets to pitch their segment ideas, which ranged from local travel to motorcycle culture to farming life, and then planned the show lineup using Rundown Creator software.
Students worked in teams of two or three, adhering to COVID-19 filming protocols to shoot b-roll and interviews. The two sections of the course each had a dedicated host, editor and social media manager.
This senior crew was responsible for assembling the content in five episodes of the 30-minute show, which airs on Rogers TV Cable 20 several times each week. The students were also given the opportunity to produce one live-to-tape episode outdoors using Conestoga’s mobile TV equipment.
“Conestoga Connected gave us real world experience,” said Hidalgo Lopez. “We learned how to work in a real TV environment, and to meet deadlines and Canadian TV standards. This award means so much to us because it’s a huge achievement for our professional careers and is the result of our hard work as a team, the guidance of our mentors, and the encouragement they gave us to persevere despite the pandemic.”
Austin Pollard and Mitch Sommer, 2020 graduates, won the award for best Promo or Trailer for their film trailer for The Noble Thief. They produced the film as part of their capstone course, under the mentorship of professor Paul Squires.
Lisa Rafferty, a 2021 graduate, was also recognized with an honourable mention for the promo she completed for her capstone documentary, A Many Splendored Thing.
All winning entries can be viewed on the Canadian Media Educator’s website.
Conestoga’s two-year Broadcasting-Television and Independent Production diploma program provides students with the skills to compete in today's video production marketplace and create broadcast-quality products backed by engaging storytelling.